Enjoying Foods and Drinks: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:168-169) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:168-169)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
Enjoying Foods and Drinks
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ كُلُوا مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٦٨﴾ إِنَّمَا يَأْمُرُكُم بِالسُّوءِ وَالْفَحْشَاءِ وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٦٩﴾
Translation:
2:168 O mankind, eat whatever is lawful and wholesome on the earth; and do not follow in the footsteps of Shaitan; for he is indeed your avowed enemy.
2:169 He enjoins you evil and indecency and to attribute to God something of which you have no knowledge (proof).
Commentary: The verse 2:168 sanctions mankind to eat and enjoy the lawful and wholesome foods and drinks on Earth [(مِمَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا)] and indirectly bars them from consuming the forbidden ones. It also warns mankind that devouring forbidden foods and intoxicating drinks will lead them in the footsteps of Shaitan, man’s open enemy [(وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ ۚ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ)].
Food and drink are vital sources of energy for ensuring human longevity. The long-term shortages of both causes famine and losses of life. Hence, mankind should cultivate the habit of being grateful for all blessings that come to them from Allah (SWT), especially for their sustenance. The Quran states that a gracious attitude is a sign of servitude to Allah (SWT) [Al-Baqara 2:172]. Those who are not grateful to their Lord will slide down the slippery slope in the footsteps of Shaitan and will eventually rebel against Him [Al-Baqara 2:60 & Ta-Ha 20:81].
The verse 2:169 states that Shaitan has vowed to encourage mankind to do evil [(السُّوءِ)], commit indecency [(الْفَحْشَاءِ)] and to make mankind attribute false statements to Allah (SWT) without having proof and evidence [(وَأَن تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّـهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ)]. An example of attributing such a statement to Allah is that Shaitan may lure mankind to change the status of the lawfulness of certain foods and attribute the change to Allah (SWT). However, no one is authorized to change the legal status of food and drink. This is true about any divine law. For instance, consuming the meat of an already dead animal, an animal that has not been intentionally slaughtered according to zabihah guidelines, and drinking intoxicating beverages are forbidden in Islam; no one is authorized to declare them permissible and attribute that change to Allah (SWT).
A word about Zabiah Meat: Muslims are authorized to eat only a lawful, halal animal’s meat. The animal must also be slaughtered according to Islamic guidelines; this is called Zabihah [(ذَبِيْحَة)]. The animal must be slaughtered by a Muslim, in the direction of Qiblah and the name of Allah must be called by the butcher upon slaughter.
Some scholars argue in favor of the lawfulness of non-Zabihah meat prepared by the people of the Scripture since the chapter of Al-Ma’ida 5:5 states “The food of those who were given the Scripture is lawful for you”:
… وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ … ﴿٥﴾
In their argument, “food of the people of the Scripture” could include meat prepared by the people of the Scripture. However, Ali ibn Ibrahim quoted Imam Sadiq (AS), who stated that “food of the people of the Scriptures includes beans and fruits, not their slaughtered meat, because the people of the Book do not call the name of Allah upon slaughtering an animal.” The Quran explicitly states that the name of Allah (SW) should be called upon slaughtering the animal. The latter interpretation is unanimously accepted by the Shia school of jurisprudence.
اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لِلَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ ﴿١٧٢﴾
2:172 O you who have believed, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.
… كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا مِن رِّزْقِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٦٠﴾
2:60 …”Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.”
كُلُوا مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَلَا تَطْغَوْا فِيهِ فَيَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبِي ۖ وَمَن يَحْلِلْ عَلَيْهِ غَضَبِي فَقَدْ هَوَىٰ ﴿٨١﴾
2:81 [Saying], “Eat from the good things with which We have provided you and do not transgress [or oppress others] therein, lest My anger should descend upon you. And he upon whom My anger descends has certainly fallen.”
عَنى بِطَعامِهِمْ هاهُنَا الْحُبُوبَ وَ الْفاکِهَهَ غَیْرَ الذَّبائِحِ الَّتِى یَذْبَحُونَ فَاِنَّهُمْ لایَذْکُروُنَ اسْمَ اللّهِ عَلَیْه

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